Thursday, 10 January 2013

Judge Dredd: 'Robots'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Robots'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Programme 9

DATELINE
23 Apr 77

This Prog had a Harlem Heroes cover by Dave Gibbons, Flesh card game and Invasion, Dan Dare, Flesh, Harlem Heroes and M.A.C.H.1 strips.

PAGE COUNT
5 (or 4 and 3/4)

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd: The Early Cases 1, Judge Dredd Annual 1986, The Best of 2000AD, The Complete Judge Dredd 1 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd tries to protect the 'Robot Of The Year Show' from a threat and finds himself relying on a robot to do it.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Dredd strip to feature the work of John Wagner and Ron Turner, first use of the word Stomm and the first to end on a cliffhanger (of sorts),

INFORMATION
Mega-City One has an air purification system. The Transatlantic Tunnel runs from Mega-City One across the sea. The interpass to enter the tunnel is one mile from the exhibition dome. The city also has an exhibition centre in an airtight dome with at least 99 gated entrances.

Robots are commonplace in the city. The 'Robot Of The Year Show' is an annual event held at the dome to exhibit the latest developments in robotics, but this year there have been threats made against the show unless a ransom of 20 million credits was paid.

The 'K' Series Robot from Cybo Comp Inc has been the big hit of this year's show and part of the demonstration, involved ordering a 'K' Series Robot called George to commit suicide. They cost 194,000 credits each and can think, feel, obey and cry.

Among the other robots on show are Heavy Metal Kid, a robot used for heavy lifting and demolition, Robochair, a robot that forms part of a floating wheelchair and the new Police Bloodhound Robot can catch a scent within 20 miles and pinpoint its location and fly.

Myclon Gas is poisonous and fatal to humans if inhaled.

Judges carry respirators and their guns fire explosive bullets. Named Judges: Judge Diablo.

JUDGE DREDD
He is assigned to guard the 'Robot Of The Year Show' with Judge Diablo. He doesn't think robots should be given feelings.

OTHER CHARACTERS
JUDGE DIABLO
He guards the 'Robot Of The Year Show' with Judge Dredd. Diablo is not as concerned about the robot's feelings. He is killed in the Myclon gas attack.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
Hundreds. The Perp kills two guards, Diablo and hundreds of exhibition goers die from Myclon Gas inhalation and the Perp is killed when Dredd destroys the Robot controlling his Robochair and crashes.

BEST LINES
Heavy Metal Kid: "Goods to shift? Demolition? The Heavy Metal Kid is the robot for you. He'll never let you down!"

In this case it's not about the dialogue, but the context (below)


WORST LINES
Robot Of The Year Showgoing boy deserving of a clip around the ear: "Wow! Look at that tin freak burn!"

CATCHPHRASES
Diablo says "Stomm".

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
The Trans-Atlantic Tunnel joining North America and Europe was previously seen in Harlem Heroes, Part 6 (and as with last Prog, Mega-City One again appears briefly in Harlem Heroes Part 9, so it is probably the very same Trans-Atlantic Tunnel).

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
This strip serves as a prologue to the next story, Robot Wars.

NOTES
It's interesting that we never learn the name of the Lawbreaker or the motive for the crime.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: John Wagner
Artist: Ron Turner
Letters: John Aldrich

John Wagner co-created Judge Dredd with Carlos Ezqueera and indeed between his efforts for 2000 AD, the Megazine and the Daily Star Wagner would go on to write another thousand or so Judge Dredd stories, including crossovers with Batman, Lobo, Predator and Aliens. As well as Ace Trucking Co, Al's Baby, America, Judge Anderson, Bad Company, Banzai Battalion, Bob the Galactic Bum, Bogie Man, Brit-Cit Babes, Button Man, Chopper, Dan Dare, Darkie's Mob, The Dead Man, Judge Death, The Fists Of Danny Pyke, Gil Hazzard - Codename Scorpio, The Helltrekkers, House Of Daemon, M.A.C.H.1, Manix, Max Normal, Mean Machine, Mean Team, Robo-Hunter, Shako, Joe Soap, Strontium Dog, Tales Of Mega-City One, Tales From The Black Museum, The Taxidermist, I Was A Teenage Tax Consultant, Tharg The Mighty and a few one-offs as well.

Ron Turner also drew three parts of the next Judge Dredd strip Robot Wars and Prog #21's The Solar Sniper, two of Tharg's Future Shocks and three Rick Random strips. Elsewhere he drew for The Daleks, Thunderbirds and The Spinball Wars. He died in 1998.






REVIEW
Well, this is a vast improvement. The artwork is more varied than usual, the design of the Bloodhound is a bit silly and Dredd's reason for being at the 'Robot Of The Year Show' is dealt with in an almost perfunctory manner, but it doesn't matter in the slightest, because the story is a huge step in the right direction. Dredd's questioning in the final panel (left) is a great note to end on and sets up the forthcoming epic very nicely.







The answers in next Prog's Judge Dredd!
The answers in next post's Judge Dredd!